How to boost your immune system naturally

 In Opinion

This is the time of year when my office is filled with sick patients! Whether it’s the change of season or kids bringing germs home from school, here is how to use immune boosting herbs and vitamins properly!

1) Vitamin C – this can be used all fall and winter long to boost your immune system. Therapeutic dose for immune system is 3000mg – 4000mg/day. This wonderful vitamin also helps with tissue repair and is a strong anti-oxidant, great choice for your at-home-pharmacy!

2) Echinacea – this potent herb boosts the immune system when it is under-functioning. Use this when you feel a cold coming on and also if you are actively sick. Dose is dependent on the specific product but about 1ml of tincture 4x/day is what I recommend. Use only for 2 weeks!

3) Astragalus – this immune adaptogen is only to be used when you start to feel sick – not when you are sick! It will bring an active immune system down when you are sick – only use when you feel that tickle in your throat! Use only for 14 days.

4) Oil of Oregano – this yucky tasting virus fighting herb is great to keep the immune system high. Use as directed on bottle (or how much you can tolerate the taste!). This is great for viruses that you can’t seem to kick.

5) Berberine – this is my favourite herb for immune system – it is the natural antibiotic! Use this with bacterial infections (think green/yellow mucous). My favourite product is Berberis Formula by Seroyal and you can take 2 caps 3x/day (even higher at times but consult a professional!)

6) Probiotics – these beauties should be doubled when sick! I recommend around 25-50 billion CFU when you are fighting an infection. It keeps the beneficial bacteria in your system able to fight the bad bacteria trying to take over!

If you are frequently sick or on antibiotics, there is so much that can be done to strengthen an immune system for optimal function and an illness-free winter!

Kate Hunter is a naturopathic doctor who is practising at Body ‘n Balance on weekends. Visit www.katehunternd.com.

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